Chapter 4 – Communication CPSA Stations


The different scenarios that can be covered in a communication station are vast.

Common themes revolve around: conflict resolution; difficult referral/conversation and breaking bad news.

Other scenarios that have come up include obtaining consent; handing over patient care to a colleague; discussing need for antibiotics; concern about a colleague.

Pay attention to

  • Body language – what messages are you sending to your patient and are they sending to you
  • Silence is golden (but feels uncomfortable – count to 10 before speaking after breaking bad news)
  • Let the patient speak
  • Involve the patient/other specialty  in decision making
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep
  • Try to remain calm

Common Scenarios

Complaints/Angry patient or relatives

Conflict Resolution

Difficult Referral

Breaking Bad News – New Diagnosis

Breaking Bad News – Death of a Patient

Obtaining Consent